CommonLit is a free collection of fiction and nonfiction for 5th-12th grade classrooms. Search and filter our collection by lexile, grade, theme, genre, literary device, or common core standard.
Voice of Witness: A Sudanese Refugee’s Oral History
Juliet Linderman for Voice of Witness
Juliet Linderman interviews Felix Lohitai about his experiences relocating as a South Sudanese refugee.
Trailblazing surgeon Mary Walker still one of a kind
As the nation’s first female surgeon, Mary Walker contributed both to the Civil War and to women’s rights.
War in Sudan
Jessica McBirney introduces the causes and effects of armed conflicts that go back decades in present-day Sudan and South Sudan.
Jessica McBirney describes the life and accomplishments of Duke Ellington, an influential musician during the Harlem Renaissance.
The Real ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Soldier Saved 75 Souls Without Ever Carrying A Gun
A soldier who refused to carry a weapon in World War II emerged as a hero after saving 75 fellow soldiers.
Naomi Shihab Nye
A speaker comforts a woman by speaking with her in Arabic before a flight.
The Limits of Empathy
David Brooks discusses what it means to be empathetic and whether or not empathy influences our actions.
What Is A Supernova?
Supernovas, or the explosion of stars, are helping scientists better understand the universe.
Mrs. Pringle’s dinner party is derailed when some guests are unable to attend at the last minute.
Rosa Parks: Beyond the Bus
Barrett Smith explores Rosa Parks’ accomplishments beyond her role in inspiring the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
The Phoenix Bird
Hans Christian Andersen
A narrator describes the origins and power of a mystical bird, the Phoenix.
Alaska Accelerates Indoor Agriculture
During cold winters, greenhouses are used in Alaska.
37 Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police
Martin Gansberg discusses the murder of Kitty Genovese, whose attack was witnessed by 37 people.
The Cold War
Jessica McBirney discusses the various conflicts and effects of the Cold War.
Jessica McBirney discussed the life and accomplishes of the famous physicist, Stephen Hawking.
The Keys of Destiny
A woman tells a king a story about a man who discovers the Keys of Destiny, which cause him misery and suffering.
Jessica McBirney discusses the life and accomplishments of the famous surrealist artist, Salvador Dalí.
Teen Brain Takes Biggest Sports Hits
Katherine Harmon discusses the effects of head injuries on the teenage brain.